Best Rocker Bottom Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Rocker bottom shoes. The name brings up images of KISS, Metallica, AC/DC and sounds like something that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons would be wearing in concert. Rocker bottom shoes don’t have anything to do with music though, there is a lot more to it than that. First, the image is fun but wrong. Think rocking chair or rocking horse instead and you’ll have a better idea. Rocker bottoms have a thicker sole than a normal shoe. The sole curves upward at the toe, reminiscent of the bow of a rowboat. The heels are also rounded, ensuring that the wearer doesn’t have a flat surface along the length of the foot.

Rocker bottom shoes were designed to help compensate for the lack of movement that can happen in your feet due to damage from injury and from some medical conditions (like arthritis). They are designed to reduce the pain people with these conditions can feel while walking by ensuring that parts of the foot aren’t required to move. For example, people with arthritis in the feet may need to replace the flexibility they are missing through the metatarsals, the long bones between the toes and the ankle.

Last Updated: May 17, 2018
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By Himmatpreet Kaur:

Rocker bottom shoes are very unique. Putting together a best list required a lot of research and reading. We managed to select 15 of the best rocker shoes on the market, based on appearance as well as other factors like comfort, quality and durability. We’ve also updated our Criteria and our FAQ below

Featured Recommendations

Dansko Reggie
  • Dansko Reggie
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rocker platform
  • Price: See Here
Skechers 2.0 Comfort Stride
  • Skechers 2.0 Comfort Stride
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent comfort
  • Price: See Here
Skechers Metabolize
  • Skechers Metabolize
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy on and off
  • Price: See Here

In addition to people suffering from pain in their feet, this type of shoe can be great for just about anyone. The unique styling is suitable for a variety of life’s adventures and will ensure your feet stay comfortable. They will also help build and tone muscle in the legs, ankles, and feet. Exceptional cushioning and impact absorption makes them great for long walks and in general long days of standing or walking.

We’ve collected 15 of the best rocker bottom shoes available. When we chose the shoes on the list below we considered a number of criteria but also set out to ensure that you have variety. Because a foot injury should never prevent you from having as wide a choice as possible.

 

15 Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

 

1. Dansko Reggie

This looks like a heavy shoe, but appearances can be deceptive. It’s made of a molded polyurethane outsole so the frame is very lightweight and you still get to enjoy a platform heel! The leather upper is breathable and you have a very comfortable footbed. Hello, comfort in a heel again!
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EVA footbed
The EVA footbed is designed for long hours of comfort. EVA is ethylene vinyl acetate and it was originally used in high-end athletic shoes. It is so comfortable that you will find it in most shoe footbeds now, athletic wear or cut bootie style heels!

Lightweight platform
The polyurethane outsole on this platform rocker keeps the shoe lightweight while providing your foot with a lot of stability and movement. Dansko knows comfort and they engineered it into this shoe for you.

Cost and Value
These shoes are in the mid-range in terms of price. You are getting a thoughtful design in a comfortable heel for that price though. Dansko has come through with what they do best - build a shoe that you can wear all day long that doesn’t look like a boat or a box. Your feet will appreciate the breathable leather in the upper as well.
Pros
  • Polyurethane outsole
  • EVA footbed
  • 1” platform
  • Peep-toe
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Sizes wide

2. Skechers 2.0 Comfort Stride

Skechers is well known for their comfortable shoes and when you are brave enough to put comfort right in the name, you better live up to it. This rocker bottom shoe does! Skechers built comfort and support into every possible aspect of this shoe from mesh panels for breathability to a pull loop for easy off and on, to extra padding in the collar and tongue and finally to the insole, midsole and outsole - so much comfort and support we have our doubts that you’ll want to take them off.
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Air Cooled Breathability
The stabilized breathable mesh panels with the fabric underlay give your feet enough breathing room to relax after long hours of running.

Supportive frame
Comfortable feet are supported feet and these shoes have it. A polyurethane frame supports your foot while a soft foam wedge midsole gives you plenty of shock absorption, taking the burden off your heels.

Cost and Value
In the lower range price wise, these shoes are a terrific value. No detail was overlooked when it comes to providing you with a cool, comfortable, supportive rocker bottom sneaker. These shoes will also last a long time, so you get a lot of life for the money.
Pros
  • Stitching accents
  • Toe, side, and heel overlays
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Memory foam insoles
  • Firm polyurethane frame
  • Kinetic Wedge midsoles
  • Sculpted rubber outsoles
Cons
  • No wide sizes

3. Alegria Paloma

PG Lite has been making comfortable shoes for over 20 years and they really hit the mark with their Alegria line of shoes. This Mary Jane inspired shoe will let you work comfortably all day long. Not just a work shoe, perfect for nurses and others who are on the move all day, it works well as a casual shoe as well.
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Superior comfort
This shoe features a soft leather interior that will keep your feet dry, a cushioned footbed and a polyurethane outsole that is designed to reduce heel and metatarsal pressure and also to provide stability. Comfort is built in everywhere.

Removable footbed
The cork and latex footbed will conform to the shape of your foot. However, the footbed is removable so you can use a custom insole or orthotic in this shoe.

Cost and Value
This well-designed Mary Jane rocker bottom shoe is in the low end of the range of prices for our list. Given all of the design elements to ensure the support and comfort of your feet, this shoe is a great value
Pros
  • Excellent support
  • Unmatched comfort
  • Removeable footbed
  • Polyurethane outsole
  • Versatile style
Cons
  • Velcro may wear out

4. Skechers Metabolize

4. Skechers Metabolize
Skechers started off in 1992 making skate shoes and utility-style boots in California and since that time they’ve grown a reputation for making comfortable, quality footwear. The Metabolize is a supremely comfortable rocker bottom shoe with a rubber sole designed to last. Your feet will be well supported too!
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Kinetic wedge
This shoe is designed for working out. The soft foam kinetic wedge midsole will provide plenty of shock absorption, taking the pressure off your heels and forefoot. Your feet won’t fall flat on any surface you walk on.

Rubber sole
The rubber sole on the Metabolize serves two purposes - great traction and durability. These shoes will last a very long time and give you extra stability as well.

Cost and Value
The company is not manufacturing these shoes anymore which is unfortunate but they are still well stocked online so get yours while supplies last! This is the least expensive shoe on our list as well and for a very small price, you are getting a high-quality rocker bottom that will last for a very long time.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Easy pulls
  • Padded collar
  • Rubber outsole
  • Polyurethane frame
Cons
  • Heavy

5, Hoka One One Tor Ultra

5, Hoka One One Tor Ultra
The Hoka One One hiking boot is a mix of comfortable running shoe and extra supportive trekking boot because you’re not going to let your foot issue keep you indoors and inactive. This rocker bottom hiker features and RMAT and EVA midsole for great stability and support and the tough mesh and leather upper provides support above.
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EVA & RMAT midsole
The midsole is EVA on the top for extra cushioning and RMAT just below for support and stability along the entire length of the foot.

Ultra-traction
This trekker has flex grooves in the forefoot for grip and control and a ‘MegaGrip’ high traction outsole featuring 5 mm lugs for the ultimate in traction. Go anywhere with confidence and support with this boot.

Cost and Value
These are the most expensive shoe on our list and it’s easy to see why from all the technology that has been built into them. They will need waterproofing each season. For the investment, you will get a great hiking boot that lasts a long time. Your feet will be extremely comfortable while also being well protected from the weather and terrain.
Pros
  • Waterproof membrane
  • MegaGrip traction
  • 5 mm lugs
  • EVA & RMAT midsole
  • Leather & mesh upper
Cons
  • Waterproofing doesn’t last

6. Propét Life Walker

6. Propét Life Walker
Propet has made a name for itself making shoes for people who have to take special care of their feet. This shoe is made for those with diabetes, arthritis or plantar fasciitis who need extra stability and a sole that will propel their feet in a natural gait. This shoe also features double velcro straps for ease of use and a snug fit.
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Removeable orthotic
This sneaker has great arch support but the orthotic in the shoe is also removable so you can wear a custom insert or orthotic of your own.

Easy off and on
The Life Walker features two velcro closing straps with adjustable hook and loop closures to allow to you adjust your fit and take the shoes off and on easily. It also allows you to adjust the fit as your feet swell during the day.

Cost and Value
These shoes are at the lower end of the price range for our list, and they are Medicare approved so that may also reduce your price further. For the reasonable price though, you really can’t beat the engineering that has gone into this shoe. You’ll be comfortable, your feet will be stable and they are easy to get off and on with the dual velcro closures.
Pros
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Contoured heel stabilizer
  • Dual velcro closure
  • Removable orthotic
  • EVA midsole
  • Durable arch support
  • Medicare A5500
Cons
  • Difficult sizing

7. Clarks Wave Trek

7. Clarks Wave Trek
Clark’s has been making comfortable and specialized shoes for over 100 years. There is a reason they’ve been doing it that long - they are comfort experts. The Wave Trek is a waterproof sneaker with a rocker bottom and a removable insole. Great so far right? Well, let’s add a leather upper and clean, casual style to the mix to make it that much better.
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Ortholite footbed
The Ortholite footbed is removable so you can use your own custom insert or orthotic. If you choose to leave it in, you will also benefit from its breathability and ability to wick moisture away from your feet, preventing unpleasant smells from building up.

Waterproof
Yes, it sucks to have to go run errands or head to work in the rain but adulting means doing what you have to do. At least you get to do it in a waterproof sneaker that also looks good. You’ll be so comfortable you’ll barely notice you forgot your umbrella.

Cost and Value
These sneakers are right in the mid-range of price on this list. For the price, you get all the quality and comfort of the Clarks name. You also get a removable footbed that will keep your shoes smelling fresher and your feet drier, all in a nice looking waterproof sneaker.
Pros
  • Removable footbed
  • Breathable
  • Moisture wicking
  • Waterproof
  • Lots of cushion
  • Shock absorbing
Cons
  • Upper is stiffer

8. Hoka One One Bondi 5

8. Hoka One One Bondi 5
This shoe was designed for running on hard, artificial surfaces but there is enough grip for trail walking or running as well. This is Hoka One One’s most cushioned shoe designed for running. It’s breathable, stable, and lightweight. It features an Ortholite, molded insole and a durable, rubber outsole that has been reinforced in the areas where shoes are most likely to wear.
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3D Puff print
The supportive frame in this shoe is made with 3D puff print technology which makes the shoe very light. This also offers a very precise fit and a comfortable, secure wear.

Full EVA midsole
The full EVA midsole in this shoe offer superior cushioning from heel to toe. The EVA is thick and designed to compress well under pressure while being resistant to wear.

Cost and Value
These shoes are just inside the upper range of prices for shoes on this list. You do get a lot of support and comfort technology for that money though, including a molded Ortholite sock liner, breathability, great shock absorption, wear-resistant compression, EVA midsole, heel bevelling, and the ComfortFrame for stability and support.
Pros
  • Ortholite sockliner
  • EVA midsole
  • ComfortFrame stability
  • Padded tongue
  • Breathable
  • Heel bevel
Cons
  • Sizes run small

9. Alegria Caiti

9. Alegria Caiti
Alegria shoes are almost all rocker bottom shoes, many sandals or mary janes. The Alegria Caiti gives you their rocker-bottom stability and comfort in a supportive, attractive boot! It features a leather upper and interior and is a mini rocker for the stability of a rocker with a little more flexibility. It opens and closes with velcro for ease and use and the footbed is made of so many cushioning materials you would think it was a pillow.
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Ultra comfortable footbed
This extremely comfortable footbed is made of latex, memory foam, and cork so that it will form naturally to the shape of your foot. If you need a custom insole or orthotic, however, the footbed is removable.

Mini rocker bottom
This boot has a mini rocker bottom which means you get some of the stability and reduced pressure of a rocker but that is balanced with increased flexibility.

Cost and Value
These mini rocker bottom boots are in the lower end of the shoes in our list in terms of price. For a small investment, you get good quality leather uppers and linings, moisture wicking and a modified rocker design that stabilizes the foot while providing a little extra flexibility compared to a traditional rocker bottom. The footbed provides amazing comfort and is also removable to suit your needs.
Pros
  • Leather upper
  • Moisture wicking
  • Removable footbed
  • Conforming footbed
  • Cute boot style
  • Easy closure
Cons
  • No wide sizes

10. Altra Olympus 2

10. Altra Olympus 2
A redesigned trail runner with a rocker bottom! The Olympus 2 has a special sticky rubber that is meant for the trails and will do well for hiking, backpacking, and trail racing as well. The upper is softer and more flexible than it’s predecessor and the shoe is lighter as well. It’s extra comfortable while being stabilizing and lightweight so you can give your training and that race your all.
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Trail designed sole
The sole in this shoe is not only designed for shock absorption but it is specifically designed for hitting the trails. Traction is improved with sticky rubber and GaiterTrap technology is used to improve grip in both uphill and downhill terrain.

Dual layer midsole
The sole is a 36 mm stack with an A-Bound EVA top layer to offer the best shock absorption for the terrains. The second layer of EVA has less cushion but provides support and stability to your metatarsals.

Cost and Value
The Olympus 2 is priced in the mid-range for shoes on our list. It’s a great trail shoe because why would you give up trail running because you have a foot problem? This shoe is even more comfortable than before and it is also more flexible and softer. Even if you don’t take it on the trail, you will have a shoe with superior traction and grip that will take all the pressure off your heels and midfoot. Roomy toe box too!
Pros
  • Vibram sole
  • Dual stacked midsole
  • 5 mm footbed
  • Flexible upper
  • Great traction
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Poor lateral stability

11. Hoka One One Arahi

11. Hoka One One Arahi
Hoka One One is known for its unique running shoes. The J-Frame in this runner is very supportive and protective while the Meta-Rocker takes your foot through the full gait cycle. Breathable, cushioned, and lightweight this will become your go-to running shoe. Great for running or for being on your feet all day at work.
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Lightweight
Hoka One One uses a 3D Puff Print Frame to provide a lightweight and secure fit. Lightweight for running or for preventing fatigue during a long day on your feet. Either way, you win.

J-Frame
The J-Frame in this rocker bottom is designed to offer support and foot protection while enhancing the active part of your foot. It is designed to guide your foot without being too rigid.

Cost and Value
This shoe is in the lower price range for this list. For that, you are getting a runner with all the benefits of a rocker bottom shoe but without the rigidity and lack of tolerance. Extra padding in the tongue helps prevent discomfort on the top of the foot and chafing. The shoe is very breathable, for dry comfortable feet and it is very lightweight for running or long days.
Pros
  • 3D Puff Print
  • Zonal rubber outsole
  • Breathable mesh
  • J-Frame support
  • Padded tongue
  • Dynamic stability
Cons
  • Sizes run small

12. Alegria Debra

12. Alegria Debra
This is the third Alegria shoe on our list and for good reason. Alegria rocks the rocker bottom shoe. This is a slip-on design with some light padding at the collar. The toe box is roomy, the footbed super comfortable and the structure is meant to reduce the stresses on your muscles and joints. It is also slip resistant for nurses, hospitality workers and others who are on their feet all day, on hard, potentially slippery floors.
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Leather upper
The leather upper on this rocker bottom is stain-resistant, supportive and durable. It also provides for smooth lining that is breathable.

Polyurethane outsole
The polyurethane outsole is slip-resistant and durable. The rocker bottom shape guides you through a natural gait while supporting the entire length of your foot.

Cost and Value
This shoe is at the upper end of the low range for shoes on our list. It is a very cute shoe available in a number of patterns and colors. The leather is stain-resistant and very durable and breathable. The outsole is durable and provides the right security for your midfoot and forefoot. Use your own orthotic or insole or enjoy the comfort and cushion of the original. You can’t go wrong with Alegria for comfort and support during long days.
Pros
  • Stain resistant upper
  • Roomy toe box
  • Breathable lining
  • Removable footbed
  • Durable outsole
  • Slip-resistant
Cons
  • Sizes run large

13. New Balance 928v3

13.  New Balance 928v3
This walking shoe from New Balance is designed with a very durable outsole and a dual-density, molded polyurethane insole. It features a soft, full-grain, flexible leather upper for comfort and a compression molded midsole for shock absorption and increased stability. It is available in widths up to 6E.
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Rollbar technology
New Balance’s Rollbar technology is a posting design that is meant to limit movement in the rear of the foot. It prevents rolling inward for those with overpronation and outward for those with supination.

Dual-density insert
The insert in this shoe is molded from a dual-density polyurethane, making it strong and cushioning at the same time. It is also removable if you wish to wear a custom insole or orthotic.

Cost and Value
This walking shoe is priced in the mid-range and for the investment, you get a shoe with a durable sole, strong and cushioning insole, rollbar technology for stability and soft, flexible leather upper. Your feet will be their most comfortable and you will get long life from the shoe, saving money over time.
Pros
  • Removable insole
  • Dual density insole
  • Durable outsole
  • Shock absoption
  • Flexible leather upper
  • Widths up to 6E
Cons
  • Heavier shoe

14. MBT Sport3

14. MBT Sport3
MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. This company was inspired to make their shoes after noting that the Masai do not suffer foot problems after walking in the sand, barefoot all day. The shoe is a soft surface that is similar to walking barefoot on sandy or moss, which is unstable, activating the supporting muscles in your leg and foot. The company promises the shoes will improve your gait and relieve pressure on your back and joints.
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Built for exercise
These shoes are designed for everyday life but also for a serious workout. Whether you are walking or standing the shoes will also exercise a large number of muscles in your body.

Breathable upper
The upper in this athletic shoe is made from synthetic and mesh making it very breathable. Your feet will stay cool and dry. These shoes are great if you have sweaty feet.

Cost and Value
The shoes are at the upper end of the price range but for the investment, you get a shoe that is comfortable to exercise in or walk in all day long. Your foot will remain stable but you will feel like you are walking on a soft surface. This may be the most comfortable shoe for walking and exercise you ever own.
Pros
  • Breathable upper
  • Masai sensor
  • All day comfort
  • Full rocker bottom
  • Improves gait
Cons
  • Heavy

15. Alegria Chairman

15. Alegria Chairman
A professional looking Alegria clog designed for comfort and durability. This features a leather lining that wicks moisture away from your feet and a removable footbed if you wish to wear a custom insole or orthotic. It’s a non-slip and stain resistant shoe that is great for work or wherever life takes you
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Triple layer footbed
The footbed is made from cork, latex, and memory foam for great comfort. However, you can remove the footbed and replace it with your own insole or orthotic if you prefer.

Slip on clog
You want to be on the go without the foot pain or the hassle. These shoes are made for convenience and the rocker sole, stability, and comfortable leather will mean you go in comfort.

Cost and Value
These shoes are in the mid-range of shoes on the list and for that, you get famous Alegria comfort and style along with durability and stain resistance. Suitable for most weather conditions, you won’t go wrong with these professional looking clogs.
Pros
  • Professional style
  • Removable footbed
  • Stain resistant
  • Durable outsole
  • Slip-on
Cons
  • Sizes run small

We have put a lot of research into bringing you 15 of the best rocker bottom shoes on the market. Whatever your foot issue might be, whatever your style, or your need, you will find something in the list above that will work for you. Most are appropriate for work, exercise, and walking though some are more exercise oriented than others. All of the brands on our list are good at what they do – making a comfortable shoe that suits the design purpose. In this case, they have all made an extremely supportive, comfortable rocker bottom shoe that you won’t go wrong with.

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

Criteria Best Rocker Shoes

Soles

The soles are one of the most important aspects in a rocker bottom shoe. All three parts of the sole play a role in an effective, comfortable rocker bottom shoe – beginning with the insole, through the midsole and the outsole. Here’s what to look for:

  • Overall the shape of the sole in a rocker bottom is important. Because the shoe is meant to stabilize and prevent the movement of the metatarsals, thereby relieving pain from walking, the sole must compensate by guiding the foot through a natural gait. A good rocker bottom has a smooth curve from the heel of the foot to the toe. It will also have a rounded heel to enable the proper gait from the moment you set the foot down through the entire step.  
  • Thickness – a good rocker bottom sole will be thick, to enable shock absorption and allow room for the proper curve. Look for a shoe that is in the area of 30 mm thick or more, measured at the midfoot, from the bottom of the outsole (where it touches the ground) to the top of the midsole (where the sole attaches to the upper).  
  • Outsole The outsole of a rocker shoe should provide good traction for the shoe’s purpose. A hiking boot or trail runner, for example, will need different traction than a dress shoe or one meant for an office environment. Rubber is one of the best materials for outsoles because it is durable and provides good traction on many different surfaces.
  • Midsole The midsole of the shoe is where a lot of the function is in a rocker bottom shoe. It is normally made from one or more layers of a firm but still pliable material like EVA or polyurethane. It will not be very flexible because it is meant to stabilize your metatarsal area. Some shoes will be modified in this area to provide a little less stability and more flexibility and what you choose should meet your needs for a stabilized footbed first.
  • Insole – People who have arthritis, plantar fasciitis or other food conditions need an insole that can adapt to their foot while providing a comfortable surface to walk on. This is why many rocker bottom shoes will be made of a combination of cork, memory foam, and latex. Molded EVA insoles may work for your feet as well. The insole should be removable so that a custom insole or orthotic can be used easily.

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Comfort

All of the best shoes are comfortable shoes. But what does comfort entail?  Comfort can mean different things to different people. For example, if you have high arches, a shoe that has no arch support will not be the most comfortable for you. If you have flat feet, a shoe with some rigidity for support will be more comfortable than a soft, over-flexible shoe.

There are some general criteria, however, that help ensure great comfort. We’ve touched on a couple of the above. The insole, for example, should be cushioned for comfort and the midsole must have enough shock absorption to prevent your feet from becoming fatigued. The outsole should prevent slipping which can also exhaust your feet and potentially cause a serious injury. Here are some other things to look for in terms of comfort:

  • Breathability – Comfortable feet are cool and dry. A good upper will be breathable. Mesh and canvas are both very breathable materials. Leathers can also be breathable and may also wick moisture away from your feet but a heavy waterproofed leather will not be. These shoes will need some other way of letting air in and out, like portholes or cuts that allow for air flow. 
  • Soft liners The skin on the top of your feet is more sensitive than most people realize. A good, comfortable shoe will have a liner that is soft without any seams or parts that could rub on the bottoms, sides, top or back of the foot. No-one is comfortable with blistered feet. The liner should also absorb moisture, keeping it away from your feet. Good materials for liners are kid leather, cow leather, and soft fabrics. 
  • Closures A good, comfortable shoe will have closures that are easy for you to use. Often rocker bottom shoes will have closures that are velcro so that you can easily close and adjust the fit. The closures should also ensure that the shoe fits snuggly but not too tight against your foot. 
  • Padding – A comfortable shoe will have other well-thought-out elements like padding along the tongue and collar to keep the tops of your feet and ankle area comfortable and to help prevent rubbing in these areas.

Blue Best Rocker Bottom Shoes

Durability

Rocker bottom shoes are an investment so you really want to be sure you get a good life span from them. Many will last for years and there are elements to look for in a shoe that is designed for the shoe’s durability.

  • Outsole:  The outsole makes the most contact with the outside world. It should stand up to the surface it will be used on. While EVA can be great for a slipper used at home, you need a rubber, synthetic rubber or other hardened material in an outsole that will resist wear and tear. Some rocker bottom shoes will have both a rubber outsole and reinforced rubber in those places that wear most often. This targetted method of increasing durability is effective and also keeps the weight of the shoe lighter.
  • Closures:  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and your shoes are only as strong as their closures. Straps and laces can break if they aren’t well made or used in the manner they are meant to be used. If the shoe you are considering has laces, look for thick laces that fit easily through the eyelets. If the shoe has strap closures look for a thicker strap as opposed to thin, that is well attached to the upper. It should have a buckle closure or velcro that is good quality. Reading reviews is a great place to learn about whether the shoe has faulty straps or laces. 
  • Water-resistance:  If you are going to be wearing the shoes in damp conditions, they should resist water or be easy to dry out. Good materials for this are mesh, good quality leather, and materials that are treated with water-resistant coatings. 
  • Upper:  The upper material, whether mesh, leather, canvas or other, should be thick enough and tough enough to resist too much stretch and the elements. Though these areas do not make contact with the ground, they do make contact with the weather. A good, durable upper will also have a good attachment to the sole of the shoe – stitching or adhesive that does not fall apart readily. This is another area where reading reviews is a great idea!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When did rocker bottoms come on the market?
A:  MBT is the original maker of the rocker bottom shoe. In the 1990s, Karl Muller, a Swiss engineer, was in Africa and noticed that the Masai people walked barefoot on dirt and sand. They rarely suffered any injury to their backs or joints. He was inspired to create MBT, which stands for Masai Barefoot Technology that includes the rocker bottom design.

Q: Do rocker bottoms really help?
A:  The truth is rocker bottoms are relatively new and there has not been enough research on their impact to say that they help or harm. Users frequently report that their pain is reduced and that these shoes are very comfortable for them. Read reviews carefully to determine whether or not a particular rocker bottom might meet your needs. Also, it is rarely true that anything is a cure-all or miracle cure. Do not expect any shoe to cure your foot problems. While you should not expect a cure, you have every right to expect a shoe that fits you well, does not damage your feet, is comfortable and is durable. Above all, comfort for your painful feet is likely your most important concern – so prioritize that aspect of the shoe and you will end up with happier feet.

Q: Can I use these shoes for working on my feet all day?
A:  Rocker bottom shoes place an emphasis on stability and comfort, and less on aesthetics. They are generally great for people who have to be on their feet for long periods of time because of the additional comfort and cushioning that are built in. They also are generally designed for good traction on hard surfaces which is a bonus at work.

Q: A lot of these shoes do not fit true to size. What to do?
A:  True to size is somewhat subjective because different manufacturers will have different standards for sizes. There are also differences between regions. Your feet aren’t standard and neither are shoe sizes. The best way to ensure the right size is received is to look at the size charts from the manufacturer and have your feet measured properly (a podiatrist can do this for you if you are unsure). Read reviews to determine whether a shoe fits narrow, wide, large or small. Also, your feet are probably different sizes (most are), so be sure to fit the larger foot. If you’ve purchased previous versions of the shoe, do not assume that a newer version will fit exactly the same. It is always worth checking the size chart and doing a little research to ensure the best fit for you.

Q:? I don’t want a shoe that looks like an orthopedic box. Do you have any suggestions?

A:  A number of the shoes above are a little heavier but each is also designed for performance as a rocker bottom. We’ve added a variety of styles and shoes for a variety of purposes to provide you with some selection. Check out the links provided because, especially for the Alegria shoes, there are often wide choices in upper material, color, and style.

Q: Can’t I just wear an athletic shoe for comfort?  They are supposed to be comfortable, right?
A:  Yes, athletic shoes can be very comfortable and you may find one that fits you and doesn’t fatigue your feet. But if you need stabilization of the midfoot, athletic shoes are not going to cut it for you. They are designed for movement and flexibility in the midfoot and will not provide the stabilization of the midfoot that you require.

Q: The midsoles in my rocker bottoms are beginning to develop creases and they aren’t as comfortable as they used to be. What to do?
A: Creases are a good sign that the midsole has begun to wear out. They aren’t as comfortable as they used to be because the midsole has become too compressed to provide adequate cushion and shock absorption. It’s time to replace the shoe, hopefully with a brand new fave!

Q: The strap on my favorite rocker bottoms has broken. The shoe is still in great shape after years and I don’t want to throw them away. Help!
A:  If you’ve worn the shoes for a long time and the strap has broken from wear, a cobbler may be able to fix or replace the strap for you. Cobbler is an old-fashioned term for shoemaker and there are likely several reputable shoemakers in your town. Do your research first though!  Like any service you want the job done right. You should also consider replacing the shoe if there are other signs of wear, like creases in the midsole, wear through in the outsole or tearing or thinning in the upper. A brand new pair of your faves will be even more comfortable than your wearing-out pair.

Q: I spilled tea all over my beautiful white rocker bottoms, please tell me what to do.
A:  There is good news here and maybe some bad. If they’re white, they’re probably cleanable. Check the manufacturer’s directions to see if they can safely be put in the washing machine with a little soap and then set out to dry. If they are not washer safe but are mesh or canvas:

  • First, you want to remove the insole (to protect any cork) and soak the shoes in a bucket of warm water to dilute the tea.
  • Remove and allow the shoes to dry in a warm spot until thoroughly dry.
  • If they are leather, they are likely resistant to the tea if you get to them quickly enough.
  • Wet a soft cloth with warm water and a little soap and gently wipe down the shoe all over.
  • Rinse the cloth well and use it to remove any residual soap.
  • Dry the surface with a separate cloth and allow the leather to dry.
  • You may need to retreat shoes for water resistance after they’ve been soaked or washed.

Sources

  1. ryka, technology,
  2. clarksusa, about-clarks/technologies,
  3. alegriashoes, about-us,
  4. journals.plos, journal.pone,
  5. footankle, rocker-bottom-sole-shoes,
  6. rapidcityjournal, lifestyles/article,
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